Mucoepidermoid carcinoma

As a teenager who developed low grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) of the salivary glands, how might this diagnosis affect my long-term survival?

Low-grade MEC tends to have an excellent prognosis, although recurrence of the disease is possible. One early study from 1995 of a small number of patients (48 people) suggested a survival rate of 100% for patients with low grade MEC of the salivary glands. The median follow-up period for these patients was fifteen years. A later and larger study (125 patients) from 2012 suggested that low- and intermediate-grade MECs uniformly showed a favorable prognosis. In this study, the overall survival rate for patients with low-grade MEC was 92.8% and the disease- free survival rate for these patients was 88.3%. The median follow-up period in this study was about five years (with a range from 2-31 years). This information on prognosis is supported by a much larger study performed in 2014 involving a database of 2400 patients with MEC of the salivary glands. Results from this study indicate that the five year disease free survival rate for patients with low-grade MEC of the salivary glands is 98.8%. Factors indicating that patients will go on to have a poor prognosis include: high grade, increasing patient age, larger tumor size, metastasis to the lymph nodes, and distant metastasis. Thus, having a low grade MEC and being of a younger age are two factors associated with a more favorable prognosis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is mucoepidermoid carcinoma a genetic disease?

Mucoepidermoid carcinoma, or cancer of the salivary gland, is a "genetic" disease in the sense that it occurs due to changes (mutations) in genes that regulate how cells in the body divide. However, mucoepidermoid carcinoma is not inherited from a parent or passed down through a family.

Last updated on 05-01-20


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